With Eid-ul-Azha only a few days away, private launch operators are busy refurbishing and repairing their vessels to attract more passengers during the eid and thus make quick buck.
Visiting various dockyards in Keraniganj on the outskirts of the city, the UNB correspondent found dozens of launches undergoing facelifts.
There are 27 dockyards, including Rahman’s dockyard and Sattar Khan dockyard, from Telghat to Mirerbagh in Keraniganj where launch owners brought their vessels for repair works.
Faulty and unfit launches are taking new look after refurbishment and repair at most of the dockyards.
The UNB correspondent found that repair works were going on to give various launches, including New Sabbir-2, Karnaphuli-1, MV Jamal-3 and 4, MV Al Saima-3, MV Himu, MV Nipu Saleha-4, MV Premier-15, a fresh look.
Mizanur Rahman, master of MV Premier-15, said there were problems in the launch plate and its fan. His launch is being repaired and painted ahead of Eid. The repair work will end within three days, he added.
Md Rakib, owner of a spare parts shop, said they bring spare parts of vessels from Chattogram and DholaiKhal. The sale of in their shop has marked rise ahead of the Eid, he said.
An official at Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), said 15000-20000 people of 22 southern districts of the country use Sadarghat terminal every day and around a hundred launches are operated daily from here. During the Eid season, the number of passengers rises to around 50,000.
BIWTA Chairman Commodore Mozammel Haque said their vigilance teams, including by mobile court and waterway police, are monitoring launch terminals across the country.
They will not allow any launch or unfit vessel to ply, he added.